British Airways is to start flying from Birmingham Airport again with the launch of four new summer-only routes to popular European sunspots.

From May the airline will begin direct flights from Birmingham to the popular Spanish destinations of Malaga, Ibiza and Palma and to the Italian city of Florence.

They will operate on modern 98-seat Embraer 190 jet aircraft, with spacious cabins and two abreast seating so every customer can have an aisle or window seat.

The new return flights will operate once a week at weekends.

British Airways last flew from Birmingham in 2007 when the regional airline business was sold to Flybe.

Since then Vueling and Iberia Express, subsidiaries of British Airways’ parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), have started up services to Barcelona, Malaga, Alicante, Tenerife, Paris Orly and Madrid from Birmingham, while Aer Lingus has continued to operate to Dublin from Birmingham since 1984.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager commercial and customer, said: “We are very excited to be returning to Birmingham with four very popular routes. Customers can once again enjoy competitively priced flights to the sun direct from their doorstep with British Airways to those destinations they tell us they want to fly to. We look forward to a busy summer at Birmingham.”

Basic each way fares from Birmingham to Ibiza from £45 and to Florence, Malaga and Palma from £49 are available to book on www.ba.com

David Winstanley, Chief Operating Officer for Birmingham Airport, said, “Having British Airways return to Birmingham is not only great news for the airport but also the Midlands region and we are confident this is the beginning of a long-term growth plan with the airline. Launching these four routes, of which Florence is currently unserved, means British Airways and Avios card holders as well as leisure travellers looking for a two-class cabin product can travel from their more convenient airport than those further afield.

“We look forward to welcoming one of the world’s most recognisable and trusted brands back to Birmingham in May.”